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One-Week Summer Science Program

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Forensics Today

With TV shows like CSI and Bones being so popular, Forensics has become an important and exciting discipline in science. This is a chance for students to delve into a subject they don’t see in school! Perfect for those who are interested in Anatomy and Biology or crime, no other course combines these topics as well as Forensics.

Last year, students studied fingerprinting and used their newfound knowledge to track down a culprit via the prints they left. They learned about anatomical indicators in bone structure, tissues, and teeth, even making molds of their own fingers and footprints. We included a lesson in facial reconstruction software as well which is oftentimes used to identify a victim.

This program is designed for teens interested in an investigative or pre-law / legal career. 

Looking for a more in-depth forensics experience? Consider our three-week Forensic Science program. 

Students analyze a prop crime scene in the Forensics one-week program

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June 19 – 23  | Olin/Wellesley, MA

July 31 – August 4  | Olin/Wellesley, MA

More About: Awards – Research Programs – Sample Week 

Looking for more? Check out: Forensic Scienc

Course Overview

Join Dr. Rich Fox for an experience that offers brand new and additional material from his courses offered in years past. Students will receive forensics packages and be instructed on how to perform both hands-on and virtual activities with the given supplies. Students will have the opportunity to do the following activities: 

  • Learn various fingerprinting techniques:
    • Students will use magnetic fingerprint powder and a magnetic fingerprint wand to find and analyze fingerprints used to solve crimes
    • Students will learn a more traditional fingerprinting technique using a fingerprint feather duster to physically brush fingerprints and analyze them
    • Students will use fluorescent fingerprint powder and a black light source to analyze fingerprints
    • Students will use an investigative material known as hinge lifters, or single-sided tape, to lift fingerprints off of smooth surface evidence. 
    • Students will also use the following materials to gain further insight into fingerprinting: 10 FBI print fingerprint cards and Inkless ink pads
  • Use Blood Typing to Analyze a Crime Scene:
    • Students will use simulated blood and anti- serum to blood type the blood at a fictional crime scene. Students will analyze the various blood types in order to discover which suspect’s blood matches with that found at the crime scene in order to solve the case. 
  • Make Footprint Impressions:
    • Students will be given the necessary materials in order to make a personal footwear cast and learn the skills required to identify footprints at a crime scene.
  • Simulated Drug Testing
    • This lab activity uses chemistry techniques to simulate spot testing for illicit drugs. Students will use a simulated drug testing kit, combined with the black light source to learn actual forensic drug testing techniques. 
  • Other Various Crime Scene Hands-on Activities:
    • Students will be given other various pieces of evidence commonly found at crime scenes and will have to use the provided evidence bags and combination magnifying glass and tweezers to process and analyze them.
  • Interactive Virtual Crime Scene Murder Case:
    • Additionally, students will also have the opportunity to access an interactive virtual crime scene murder of an actual 19th century murder case. Other lab activities include analyzing evidence, recording data and utilizing a combination of scientific approaches and the most advanced online tools available to investigate.
  •  Analyze Simulated Poisons
    • Students will access a graphic novel from Deborah Blume’s best selling novel, The Poisoners Hand Book and complete both virtual and hands on activities that involve analyzing simulated poisons. Further information on this activity can be seen here in a WGBH video featuring the course’s instructor Dr. Fox:  

Dr. Rich Fox

Dr. Fox received forensic training at some of the finest scientific facilities in the country including; the Human Genome Project, The Human Remains I.D Lab, Oak Ridge National Labs, and The McCrone School of Microscopy. He has assisted with identification of remains from mass graves in Bosnia Herzegovina as part of a United Nations team. Fox is a member of the International Association for Forensic Identification. He has been selected for the Society for Science and the Public Fellows Program. Mr. Fox’s teaching assignments have included secondary schools in Las Vegas and Boston, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gifted Youth, and Tufts University. Rich was a 2012 Honoree of the Massachusetts Society for Biomedical Research.

Student Comments

I liked that we did a lot of experiments and hands-on activities. I found the blood spatter experiment very cool and liked how we were taught real-life forensic science techniques. The teacher was engaging and nice.’

‘The program was very hands-on which I enjoyed most. We got insight into real cases and really got to understand how forensics science works.’

I really enjoyed learning about crime scenes and CSI work. Our teacher Josh made learning fun and really improved my understanding of forensics.’

‘The program explored many aspects of Forensic Science, including footprints, fingerprints, blood spatter, and entomology. I liked Dr. Fox’s teaching style… I loved the tour of the crime lab in Boston.’

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